There are variances across the offerings of cat-back exhausts on the Ram 1500 market. The first and possibly the most crucial variance is the material used. For the most part, aluminized steel and stainless steel are what you’ll find.
Aluminized steel is treated to last when put up against the elements, but it doesn’t last as long as stainless steel. The decision rests on your preference; the price of stainless steel can be considerably higher. If you keep your Ram out of the harsh weather, or simply do not live in the rust belt, the aluminized steel option shouldn’t present any issues. But if your situation is the exact opposite, and your truck regularly sees snow and salt, stainless steel is worth every penny.
Other variances aside from the mufflers would be how the system runs underneath the vehicle. Some kits are single-pipe designs, whereas others are split-pipe design. Earlier Rams and some modern Rams arrive from the factory with a single-pipe setup.
Therefore swapping out the old single exhaust to a new single pipe exit is super easy as it follows exactly the same route. Though, switching to dual-exit exhaust is a natural upgrade to make—it will improve performance, sound, and flow marginally. Later Rams can feature dual-exit exhausts from the factory, and follow the same principles as single exhausts from earlier years.
There are a few differences for the kits themselves, particularly in dual exhausts for late model Rams. Typical dual exhaust kits for cat-back set ups split into two pipes after the muffler. One pipe will run into the inlet of the muffler and split exit out the rear. A newer design features the exhaust being split right after the cat and exits with two mufflers. This design is closer to a true dual exhaust and sound will be that much better.